U.S. Ambassador Donates Personal Protective Equipment to Health Ministry

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By Amin Kef Sesay

Maria E. Brewer, U.S Ambassador to Sierra Leone, on July 8, 2020 presented personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies needed to protect frontline health care workers responding to COVID-19 to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) and the Directorate of Health Security and Emergencies.

In a Release by the Embassy it was noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the manufacturing, procurement, and shipment of many health commodities causing worldwide and localized shortages of essential personal protective equipment. It furthered that to support the MOHS in the COVID-19 response, the U.S. Government coordinated with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to reallocate a stock of the PPE to ensure the safety of health care workers.

The equipment, donated by the U.S. Government through USAID, include protective goggles, face masks, micro guard overalls, white overalls, gowns, and elbow gloves.

The Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Amara Jambai and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. T. T. Samba accepted the donation of PPE supplies on behalf of the MOHS. The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Samking Koihinah Braima, also participated in the ceremony, along with the National One Health Coordinator and representatives from the UN.

It was also revealed that the U.S. is building on its record of leadership in global health and humanitarian assistance through ongoing support to those affected by or in danger of contracting COVID-19.

In Sierra Leone, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested $20 million dollars since 2016 through the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to prevent, detect, and respond to endemic and emerging health threats, including COVID-19. USAID investments, it outlined, support the Government of Sierra Leone to increase surveillance for priority diseases, build laboratory capacity for human and animal health, and procure the essential commodities and consumables needed for these critical activities under the One Health approach.

In her remarks, Ambassador Brewer emphasized the importance of keeping our health care workers safe. She stated, “the safety of health care workers and other frontline personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic remains a top priority. Personal protective equipment will enable health workers throughout Sierra Leone to respond quickly and safely to patients in need of COVID-19 or other essential care”.

In addition to this emergency assistance ,it was stated, the U.S. works in close partnership with the Government, implementing partners and citizens of Sierra Leone on a range of programs to improve health outcomes by minimizing the spread of diseases and strengthening the response to outbreaks of infectious pathogens.

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